Palestinian, Arab and international meetings in an effort to solve the "UNRWA" crisis

Gaza _ Palestine News Network

Two Palestinian officials on Sunday unveiled a series of Palestinian, Arab and international meetings that will be held this month to discuss the financing crisis of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

The United States announced on Friday evening that it had completely cut its funding for "UNRWA", claiming that Washington had asked for problems with the agency's modus operandi, but that there had been no change.

Saleh Ra'fat, a member of the PLO's executive committee, said the committee would meet in the city of Ramallah on Monday to discuss the situation of "UNRWA".

He said Arab foreign ministers will meet in Cairo on Sept. 11 September to discuss the agency's financial support.

A meeting of donor countries will be held in New York at the end of this month to increase their contribution to the funding of UNRWA, he said.

He said the PLO was trying to find alternatives to U.S. funding for "UNRWA."

He stressed that cutting this funding "will not stop the work of the Agency, and will not affect the issue of Palestine refugees, because it is a global humanitarian issue linked to international laws and resolutions."

Palestinians say Washington is targeting "UNRWA" in an attempt to liquidate the refugee issue, in preparation for a US peace plan, which would include forcing Palestinians to compromise in favor of Israel.

Since Washington's decision in January last January, the biggest crisis in its history has been to reduce its contribution to the agency, during 2018, to $65 million, compared to 365 million in 2017.

Raafat called on Arab countries and countries of the world to increase their support to the "UNRWA" to continue to provide services to millions of refugees.

The agency was established by a United Nations resolution in 1949 to provide assistance and protection to Palestine refugees in its five areas of operation: Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Meetings in New York and Brussels

The Ambassador of Palestine to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said today that the donor countries concerned with the issue of refugees will hold meetings in New York and Brussels during the last week of this month.

The meetings will be held in the presence of 12 to 15 countries, including Jordan, Japan and Sweden, with the participation of Palestine, to discuss addressing the "UNRWA" financial crisis, he said in a statement to the voice of Palestine radio.

The head of the Israeli Government, Benjamin Netanyahu, today called on the United Nations to reconsider the power of attorney given to "UNRWA".

The 10th Israeli channel also said the United States wants the international community to "review the mandate given to UNRWA."

The Palestinian ambassador stressed that it was not the intention of the United Nations General Assembly, which gave the mandate to "Lonroa ", to terminate this right for the agency.

"There is almost political unanimity on the part of the international community to recognize that the issue of refugees must be resolved fairly, within any future political process," Mansour said.

Lebanese warning of American "overnight intentions"

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry also called for "consultation with the countries concerned, to develop a vision for action and to confront the repercussions of this (American) decision, including the convening of emergency meetings at the level of the Arab League and, more broadly, to include the host, donor and concerned countries on the margins of the General Assembly of Nations In New York  ".

In a statement, she added that state contributions to the "UNRWA" are a "duty of states that have agreed to establish the State of Israel on the territory of Palestine, and have covered the occupation of its territory and the displacement of its people."

She warned of "the intentions behind the decision that comes in the context of successive events from the transfer of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and its dedication to the capital of Israel, and then the Knesset's proclamation of the Jewish State and the enactment of the Law of nationalism and now stop the financing of UNRWA."

The Lebanese foreign Ministry said all of these were "steps to eliminate the right of return of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and other host countries, and to bring down any attempt to solve the two-state solution, not to mention pushing the Arabs residing in occupied Palestine to leave."

"UNRWA" will strengthen the state of extremism and terrorism

In a related context, the Chairman of the Arab Standing Committee for Human Rights of the Council of the League of Arab States, Amjad Shamout, said that the abolition of "UNRWA" would strengthen the situation of extremism and violent terrorism and provoke the sentiments of Muslims and Arabs, and would threaten international peace and security.

The Arab countries must act swiftly and exert pressure on the international community to assert the Palestinians ' right, he said, demanding more pressure on the United States of America to continue its role in supporting the UN agency and not withdrawing.

He called on the international community to fulfil its responsibilities and international legitimacy by supporting the agency "UNRWA" politically and materially in order to continue to provide its services to the afflicted Palestinian people.

Shamout stressed the importance of the agency continuing its work luncheon to remind the international community that there are people whose rights have been usurped and occupied by Israel, the occupying Power, and the world is failing to present its rights.

 

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